By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A tree-trimmer was electrocuted in San Jose Monday when he came into contact with a power line while working in the backyard of a home.

San Jose fire officials said firefighters responded to a call at a home along the 5000 block of Page Mill Road around 1:38 p.m.

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When they arrived, the man’s body was still in a harness dangling from the tree high above homes in full view of the neighborhood. Fire crews realized that the man had been continuously electrocuted for an extended period of time when he cut a branch that hit a high-tension power line, according to San Jose Fire Capt. Daniel Vega. Both the tree and his body were emitting smoke.

“He may have cut a branch and when the branch fell, it may have come in contact with the power lines and then contacted him or a piece of his equipment,” said Vega. “It did rain today and the wood was wet, so that’s going to have an effect also.”

PG&E cut power to the neighborhood to allow the fire department to safely bring the body down from the tree. But even with a large ladder truck, fire crews had trouble because of the height, about 20 feet up the tree and behind a row of two story homes, which left the man’s body visible for hours.

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Police kept children just out from a nearby school far back so they couldn’t see the accident scene. During the process, neighbors on all sides of the home were told to evacuate.

It was not clear which business the tree-trimmer was working for, but fire officials said he was not a PG&E employee.

Cal-OSHA was investigating the accident.


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